Critical Analysis : ' I Stand Here Ironing '

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Malky Fried Professor Reichman GLL-121-G-QK March 15, 2015 Critical Analysis The 1930’s was a difficult time for everyone, however the Great Depression was particularly hard on single, divorced, or widowed women. Faced with adversity, they had to shoulder both burdens of breadwinner and nurturer amid extreme destitution. It was a time of desperation for many families to survive. Work was scarce. Life was hard. Families were poor. Children raised during this time with absentee fathers could do nothing to better their unique situation. They were at the mercy of how their mothers handled unfortunate state of affairs. The impact of this historical time on the relationship between mother and child is illustrated in the short story by Tillie Olson titled: “I Stand Here Ironing” and in some chapter segments of Russell Baker’s book titled: “Growing Up”. Both works are reflections on the past told in first person narrative. This conveys a strong sense of authenticity as the past and present are melded together. These reminisces grant an insight into the human condition and the daily problems of ordinary people. However these flashbacks are quite different in tone. “I Stand Here Ironing” is full of pathos as the mother laments her daughters past and we get a glimpse of her overwhelming feeling of torment and sense of regret. The reader is left with a profound feeling of sadness. Russell
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